HENDERSON, Nev. – The NHL is considering a play-in tournament for the 2024 World Cup of Hockey that would take place right before the February event.
“For 2024, we may have a mini-qualifier as part of the tournament,” NHL Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN during the Player Media Tour here on Thursday.
The NHL and NHLPA are finalizing details for the first World Cup of Hockey since 2016 and are targeting a 17-day window in February 2024 that would interrupt the 2023-24 regular season.
There are no plans to bring back two new teams from the 2016 tournament: Team North America, an under-23 roster, and Team Europe, which consisted of players who had no national teams in the tournament. Team Europe reached the 2016 World Cup finals, losing to Team Canada.
Instead, 10 national teams are expected to compete in the 2024 World Cup of Hockey, with two teams eliminated in the qualifying round to form an eight-team field. Returning national teams Canada, Team USA, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and a team representing Russia are expected to attend. The other national teams could include Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Norway and others.
The expanded field would give the NHL the opportunity to feature high-profile players who might otherwise not make it to the Worlds, such as Germany’s Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl, Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, and first-placer Juraj Slafkovsky Overall Montreal Canadiens Slovakia Winner.
“If they’re participating on any basis, then cover your base a little,” Daly said.
For future world championships, the NHL said it would ideally hold the play-in tournament at the end of the previous summer.
Another issue with the 2024 Ice Hockey World Championship is how to deal with Russia’s involvement due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. While Daly said it was too early to tell how Russia would perform at the World Cup, he said Russian players would be attending the event.
“Of course we would like that and I think our Russian players would like that, so we would certainly like to accommodate them in a credible way,” he said.
That could mean taking a similar approach to the Olympics and allowing Russian players to compete, but not under their national team’s name and flag.
https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/34599913/nhl-considering-world-cup-play-2024-unsure-russians-commissioner-bill-daly-says NHL considering World Cup play-in for 2024, unsure on Russians, commissioner Bill Daly says